Western Australia Minister for Police Rob Johnson
State Budget 2010-11:
Billion-Dollar Budget For Police To Fund Additional Police Officers; New Facilities; Upgrades To Stations, IT Networks And Communications
Victor P Taffa
The Liberal-National Government has boosted WA Police’s budget by $87.1 Million this year which will provide 100 extra Police and Auxiliary Officers and 30 support staff, as well as fund capital works projects and upgrades to existing Police Stations.
This Budget has laid strong foundations to allow major investments in Policing in WA.
Police Minister Rob Johnson said WA Police had been allocated its highest funding allocation ever, with more than $1 Billion in this year’s State Budget to continue the Police recruitment program and capital works projects, as well as upgrade Police Stations and communication networks.
“WA Police have never been as well-resourced as they have under the Liberal-National Government.” Mr. Johnson said.
“We promised at the election to make law and order our top priority and we are achieving that by providing the funding necessary to support West Australian Police officers in their efforts to reduce crime in our community.”
The Minister said the State Government had committed $27.7 Million over the forward estimates towards the construction of the Cockburn Police Hub and Western Suburbs Police Hub.
Mr Johnson said the bigger Policing hubs would free up front line Police from desk duties and allow them to get out on patrol.
“The old model of a Police station in every suburb does not provide the best Police service or level of protection in these modern times.” the Minister said.
“Buildings don’t provide protection Police Officers with the right equipment out on patrol provide the best service.”
“Police vehicles these days are so well equipped with TADIS and other technology that they are basically mobile Police Stations.”
“Police working from hubs are also allocated to cover specific areas and essentially that means the Policing presence is much better than you have with a small stations, which can only open for a limited number of hours and which has front line officers tied up ‘manning the fort’ and carrying out administrative duties.”
The Minister said a significant amount of funding had been allocated for upgrades to Police stations in the metropolitan area and regional WA.
Mirrabooka and Scarborough Police Stations will be redeveloped at a cost of $5 Million in 2010-11, which will increase capacity of Police Officers at these stations to provide a more effective service to the Northern and Eastern Suburbs.
A further $3.5 Million has been committed to upgrade Police facilities throughout WA to improve station functionality, staff working conditions and public access.
In line with the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody, $3 Million will be spent in 2010-11 to upgrade existing custodial facilities at Police Stations across the State to ensure they meet the standards set by the commission. In addition, $2.5 Million has been allocated to replace detainee security vehicles that do not meet current standards for the transport of prisoners.
Other highlights in the 2010-11 Budget include:
- $45.5 Million towards the Government’s five-year program to recruit an extra 500 Police Officers;
- $35.4 Million for the Perth Police Complex, due for completion in 2012;
- $12.99 Million towards new Police Stations in Fitzroy Crossing and Mount Magnet;
- $33 Million over forward estimates to continue the upgrade of the WA Police I.T system, as well as $15.7 Million for Police to upgrade its core information and communication infrastructure;
- $4.1 Million for a Counter Terrorist Training Facility in the South East Metropolitan Police District.
The Minister said there was a total of $8.7 Million for the continued expansion of the Perth Metropolitan Radio Network to extend the existing radio and mobile data communications North to Lancelin, East to Northam and South to Dunsborough.
“The upgrade will improve Police response times through the capability to dispatch tasks to the officers best placed to respond rapidly to emergency calls, as well as boost officer security through vehicle location tracking and encrypted voice communications.” the Minister said.
“This funding complements the $80 Million that has been committed through Royalties for Regions in this year’s Budget towards the upgrade of communications for regional emergency services, which will enable better coordination and control of resources across WA’s emergency agencies.” Mr. Johnson said.